Cuba and the Cold War | From Castro's rise to power to the missile crisis

Famous Speeches | Kennedy: Cuban Missile Crisis

Kennedy's speech on the Cuban missile crisis.

CHANNEL | Unknown

FIRST BROADCAST | 22 October 1962

DURATION | 45 seconds

FIRSTBROADCAST

1962

Synopsis

President Kennedy gravely announces details about the Soviet arsenal building up on the island of Cuba, citing unmistakable evidence gathered by US surveillance operations. Not all of Kennedy's speech is captured in this recording, he went on to outline the striking capabilities of the missiles and points out that bases are also being prepared for bombers, making it possible for the eastern USA to be attacked within minutes.

Did you know?

On the day this was broadcast a blockade, or quarantined zone, was put into place around Cuba. Any attempts by Soviet vessels to land offensive weapons or materials there would be blocked by US forces. Soviet shipments bound for Cuba were diverted as a result, while negotiations between Kennedy and Khrushchev continued. On 26 October, the Soviet Union agreed to withdraw missiles from Cuba in exchange for the same concession by the USA at its bases in Turkey. The Turkey concession was agreed privately between the two leaders and only became public knowledge at a later date. Khrushchev also demanded that the USA would never invade Cuba again.

Photo credit: US National Archives and Records Administration

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